If you are one of the thousands of women considering breast augmentation, you may have heard about the new cohesive breast implant, or gummy bear implant. Since receiving FDA approval in February 2013, these implants have generated great interest in women seeking an alternative to traditional gel and saline implants. Here are some answers to questions you may have.
• What is a gummy bear implant and how is it different?
A gummy bear implant is made from a thicker, more solid gel; the gel is so cohesive that if you were to cut the implant in half, it will not leak and essentially retains its shape according to this procedure page. Older silicone implants, as well as the saline implants currently available, are filled with a liquid that can leak and change shape over time.
• What are the advantages of gummy bear implants?
Cohesive breast implants retain their shape, and unlike saline implants, the shape of the implant forms the shape of the breast due to its firmer texture. In addition, there is no chance of leakage in a gummy bear implant. There is also a lower incidence of firm scar formation, or capsular contracture, with gummy bear implants. Gummy bear implants result in a very natural-looking shape and feel.
• Are there any disadvantages to gummy bear implants?
Gummy bear implants are more expensive than saline implants, but there is evidence that suggests these implants last longer and have a lower incidence of complication requiring removal or revision. Also, because they are firm and anatomically shaped, women who desire a round-looking breast over a natural teardrop shape may not be ideal candidates. Gummy bear implants are also not recommended for women seeking a very large breast size.
• Who is a good candidate for gummy bear implants?
As with any breast augmentation procedure, you should not be pregnant or breastfeeding, have any active infections and be a nonsmoker or willing to not smoke for a period of weeks before and after the surgery. The ideal gummy bear implant candidate has good skin tone, enough natural breast tissue to cover the implant, and does not have an excessive degree of breast sagging.
• How is the procedure performed and how long is the recovery time?
Gummy bear implant surgery is nearly identical to the procedure for saline or silicone gel implants. The surgeon will make a small incision beneath your breast in the area known as the inframammary fold. This scar will be invisible over time and hidden by the natural curve of the breast. The procedure is typically performed in an outpatient facility and recovery time is usually about one week, although most surgeons recommend limiting vigorous activity for about two weeks.
Women who have chosen gummy bear breast implants are overwhelmingly satisfied with their decision. The shape and feel of the implant gives very natural long-lasting results. If you are interested in gummy bear implants, schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to see if they may be the right choice for you.